This is one of the most common questions asked by new SFI affiliates.
First, I will address why your links are blocked, and then I will explain what you can do about it:
SFI provides all affiliates with a range of advertising gateways, your own websites, from which your referrals can sign up to join your team (PSA) or become a TripleClicks customer from whom you will earn commissions and VersaPoints on everything they purchase (PRM).
If you are already an SFI affiliate, you can find all your own gateways HERE (you will need to be logged in to your SFI account). If you are not already an SFI affiliate, you can JOIN HERE and your gateways will be immediately available to you.
Because there are so many SFIers advertising daily, the SFI domains are extensively used, and are therefore marked as spam by many sites, e.g. social media, classified ads sites, etc. This is not because there is anything wrong with them or with the SFI program, it is just because there are so many affiliates using the same domain.
You can build your own website or blog!
By having your own website, with your own unique domain name, only you will be using that domain. It will not be used by thousands of affiliates every day, so it will not be marked as spam and blocked by Facebook etc.
You can use your affiliate links within your website content and pages. You can place banners on your website and use clickable images with your affiliate ID built in. There are many banners and marketing aids in SFI’s Marketing Center which you can use more freely on your own website. Then, you can post links to your blog articles or pages on Facebook, within reasonable use of course – you don’t want your own domain blocked for breaking the spamming rules.
However, this is where many newbies get a look of shock horror on their face and think “I can’t build a website. I’ve no idea how!”
And this is where I say “It is nowhere near as difficult as you think it is.”
Many years ago, I had my own business and the internet was newly emerging as a good place for potential customers to find out about my business. So, I learned then how to build a website. For a very simple website, it was a very complicated process: I had to learn how to build pages manually, how to use html codes to select colours and formats, how to use FTP programs to upload my (very amateur-looking) pages onto the world wide web. I did only just what I had to do to get a website online, then gladly left it alone for many years.
However, time has moved on and website-building has got soooo much easier, particularly with platforms such as WordPress. Really, if you can use something as simple as Microsoft Word, you can build a website, because the screen you will use to write your posts is almost the same; the same fonts and formatting tools you use in Word, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) means you can see how your post looks on the screen as you are writing it.
You can choose a Theme from the WordPress library (or find them elsewhere when you become more experienced) and the general layout will be already done for you, so all your website pages look the same, apart from your individual content. Your logo, your colour palette, all those design elements are done for you, and applied uniformly throughout your website. And if you decide you want to change your theme later, you can do this at the click of a button, without losing any of your valuable content.
I don’t consider myself an ‘expert’ in building websites, in any sense of the word, but I have built this website you are looking at now, completely by myself, with very little technical knowledge. I just got started, signed up for a WordPress website, and followed guidance and help given in the program, and explored new features as I went along.
To help you and give you confidence in building your own first website, I highly recommend you read this book I found recently, How To Create A Website Using WordPress: The Beginner’s Blueprint for Building a Professional Website in 3 Easy Steps (Plus 40+ Premium WordPress Video Tutorials). It is FREE at the moment in the Kindle edition. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle: you can get a Kindle app for your PC, tablet, smartphone etc. by clicking HERE.
This book explains simply, amongst other things:
- how to choose a domain name, and webhosting service,
- the differences between pages and posts,
- how categories and tags work to help you organise your website so readers can find what they’re looking for,
- how to keep your website secure from hackers
- and much more…
To help you further, because it is often easier to see how it is done rather than just to read it, the author, Brian Patrick, also gives you free access to over 40 video tutorials.
Website or blog – what’s the difference?
In essence, there is no difference: a blog – short for web log – is a type of website, or a feature of a website.
Originally, websites were set up simply to advertise. Once the pages were up on the net, they were rarely changed, except for prices or details, they didn’t encourage viewer participation, other than to contact the advertiser by phone or email. It is a fairly static advertisement.
The blog feature allows the website owner to periodically or regularly add to the website, and to encourage viewer participation. It is more dynamic than a website. This dynamic nature affects search engine rankings: the more often it is updated, the more people interact with it by liking or commenting, the higher it will rank by search engines like Google and Bing, so the more people will find your website.
Should I get a free website or pay for one?
While it is possible to get free blogs, if you intend to use your blog for your business, I do recommend buying your own domain name and web hosting. This is because the free blog platforms specifically state that they are free for personal use only, and commercial use of them is prohibited under their agreement terms. The posting of affiliate links is considered ‘commercial’ use.
My big mistake! I have a personal blog and I like to read books and recommend them to my readers. After finding out I could make some money from doing this, by posting affiliate links to the books, and earning commissions if people clicked through to buy them, I began using my blog for this purpose. Suddenly, one day I tried to log in to my blog and guess what – I had been suspended from the service! My blog was removed from the site. There was 6 months work and enjoyment down the drain, I was so upset. It had taken me all that time to build up my reader numbers, to get ranked quite highly on Google, and now it was all for nothing. I didn’t have any backups either, I hadn’t learned how to do that yet. I had to start all over again, from scratch, this time I used a paid service.
So I do recommend that you use a paid service from the start, as you can use it for your SFI links without the kind of worry I described above. I use GoDaddy for mine, and it has been easy and stress-free all along. For only about $12 I got a full year of webhosting and a free domain name with it too. That is unbelievable good value for what it adds to your business and, quite frankly, if you’re serious about building any online business, it’s a no-brainer. It comes with full WordPress features built in, plus many more tools and features, such as your own email @yourdomain. After the year ends it will go up to only a few dollars per month, but at least I’ve had a full year to get used to how it works, and it will more than pay for itself.
If You Need Further Help
If you are on my SFI team and are just getting started with your website, and would like some general feedback or help. please contact me directly and I will be glad to help as much as I am able. I’m no expert, I tend to learn as I go along, but I’ll do what I can or point you in the right direction.
There is also a great deal of help available for free on the internet by simply googling for ‘help with wordpress’.
If you would like more specific help, or more tips and guidance from a true WordPress specialist, please check out Damion Elson – WordPress Website Specialist‘s site. Damion also provides professional services, including coaching and design services.
What others are saying about SFII have been searching for proof that people can really earn money online. SFI ended my search and has given me a real source of extra income online. It is not a GET RICH QUICK SCHEME; it takes time to build, but it is worth all the time and hard work. Thank you SFI.